It's been a year of epic hashtag fails: first #MyNYPD, then #CosbyMeme, and now CNN's #AskACop. In advance of the station's "Cops Under Fire" town hall segment last night, hosted by Don Lemon, CNN put a call out for people to tweet questions to its panel of police officers beforehand using the #AskACop tag, the Los Angeles Times reports. The immediate, ample response was probably just what CNN wanted—the hashtag quickly rose to the top of the Twitter "Trends" list, where it still remains as of this writing—though the harsh tone probably wasn't. A preponderance of respondents used this online opportunity to criticize the police in reaction to the recent deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice, which many view as representing excessive force by police.
"How does it feel that there are more people that are afraid of YOU than they are afraid of actual criminals?" one Twitter user posted, while another wondered "do you think dogs would make better cops, i mean they are color blind." But not everyone lashed out at the police: "All of these #AskAcop people that are hating cops probably have called the police at some point to help them," one commenter tweeted. One of the more common themes: people asking why the "good" cops don't step up to help flesh out the "bad" ones. Check out Mashable's roundup of responses, both critical of and in support of law enforcement.